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McGovern Institute for Brain Research

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WBUR

A CRISPR-based diagnostic test for Covid-19 developed by researchers from MIT and the Broad Institute could produce results within an hour, reports Deborah Becker for WBUR. "Using these technologies will really allow for much more rapid testing — down from days to sometimes less than an hour," said McGovern fellow Jonathan Gootenberg. "That would enable a drastic change in how the tracing and handling of the pandemic is done."

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Felice Freyer writes about the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Center for Molecular Therapeutics in Neuroscience, which was established at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research thanks to a $28 million gift from philanthropist Lisa Yang and MIT alumnus Hock Tan ’75. “The center will develop tools to precisely target the malfunctioning genes and neurons underpinning brain disorders,” writes Freyer.

WBUR

WBUR’s Carey Goldberg explores how MIT researchers developed a new CRISPR-based research tool that can be used to detect Covid-19. "A lot of things that we try fail," says research scientist Jonathan Gootenberg. "And that’s OK. Because sometimes you find these things that are really, really awesome."

WBUR

Reporting for WBUR, Carey Goldberg highlights how MIT researchers have developed a new RNA editing tool that could be used to tweak a gene that raises the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. As the effects of RNA editing are not permanent, “it's almost like a small, pill-like version of gene therapy,” explains research scientist and McGovern Fellow Omar Abudayyeh.

Boston Globe

A gift from alumnus Charles Broderick will enable researchers at MIT and Harvard to investigate how cannabis effects the brain and behavior, reports Felice Freyer for The Boston Globe. Prof. John Gabrieli explains that it has been “incredibly hard” to get funding for marijuana research. “Without the philanthropic boost, it could take many years to work through all these issues,” he notes.

WBUR

WBUR reporter Carey Goldberg spotlights how a gift from alumnus Charles Broderick is funding research on cannabis and its impacts on the brain. "We were saying, 'Wouldn't it be great to study this?'” says Prof. Myriam Heiman of the need to study the impacts of cannabis. "And then this gift comes along and really is enabling us to do everything we wanted to do."

United Press International (UPI)

MIT researchers have found that the large size of neurons in the human brain allows for electrical compartmentalization, which may contribute to the human brain’s complex cognitive capabilities, writes UPI reporter Brooks Hays.

Associated Press

Prof. Feng Zhang has been honored as one of the recipients of this year’s Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research for his work contributing to the development of the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9, according to the AP. The AP notes that CRISPR-Cas9, “has sparked a boom in research over the past five years.”

Scientific American

Scientific American reporter Lindsay Brownell writes that MIT researchers have developed a technique to enlarge pathology samples. “Not only are expanded samples easier to see because they are larger and more transparent, fluorescent tags and other labels can also be added to track individual molecules of interest.”

Boston Globe

A study by MIT researchers finds that children from lower-income families benefited more from summer reading programs, reports Andrew Grant for The Boston Globe. Of the children who participated in the study about half, “improved their test scores and most of those that did came from lower-income families.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Pam Belluck writes that MIT researchers have developed a new, non-invasive deep brain stimulation technique. The technique could be used to help treat, “a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders more cheaply and safely than current approaches,” writes Belluck. 

Time Magazine

TIME reporter Alice Park writes that MIT researchers have modified the CRISPR gene-editing system so that it could be used to diagnose disease. Park explains that the researchers, “used CRISPR to recognize specific substances that bacteria and viruses make. Picking up even the slightest whisper of these products can alert doctors that an infection is active.”

The Washington Post

MIT researchers have developed a new technique that uses the CRISPR gene-editing system to diagnose diseases, reports Joel Achenbach for The Washington Post. Achenbach explains that the tool could potentially be used to “detect not only viral and bacterial diseases but also potentially for finding cancer-causing mutations.”

Fortune- CNN

MIT is launching a center for autism research at the McGovern Institute with $20 million in funding from MIT alumnus Hock Tan and Lisa Yang, writes Barb Darrow for Fortune. Darrow writes that Yang told Fortune she was "greatly impressed by both the collegiality and focus of the institute's researchers.”

Boston Herald

Boston Herald reporter Jordan Graham writes that the McGovern Institute has established a new center focused on autism research, thanks to a gift from Lisa Yang and Hock Tan ’75 SM ’75. Graham explains that the center will “focus on trying to make significant jumps through new technologies such as gene editing with CRISPR/Cas9.”